Weather Updates

Sneed: Is Nation of Islam’s Farrakhan seriously ill?

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivers keynote address 'How Strong is Our Foundation: Can We Survive?' Joe Louis ArenDetroit Mich.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivers the keynote address "How Strong is Our Foundation: Can We Survive?" at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/ Detroit Free Press, Romain Blanquart) ORG XMIT: MIDTF102

storyidforme: 65938982
tmspicid: 23560940
fileheaderid: 11518726

Updated: June 7, 2014 6:29AM

Is Minister Louis Farrakhan, 81, who heads the Chicago-based Nation of Islam religious sect, seriously ill?

The state of Farrakhan’s health drew attention April 19 at a conference at Chicago State University after he announced his own personal health report.

“My family didn’t want me to come out today because I just came out of the hospital,” he told the audience, according to a video recording of his comments.

“It’s not known, but I was in a weakened condition, but there was something about today. . . .”

Although he did not disclose why he had been hospitalized — or whether he has been stricken with a serious illness — he left an audience wondering whether he was suffering from a possible recurrence of prostate cancer.

Farrakhan underwent surgery for the illness at Howard University in 1999. Health problems stemming from cancer forced Farrakhan to hand control of the nation to an executive committee in 2006.

During what seemed a forceful and dynamic speech in April about revitalizing the movement for slave reparations internationally, Farrakhan also left the audience wondering if he was seriously ill when he included a reference to his mortality — and getting older — and not wanting to “pussyfoot around.”

Sneed’s query into his health was met with instructions to email Richard Muhammad, press spokesman for the Nation of Islam and editor in chief of the Nation of Islam’s Final Call Newspaper.

Still waiting for a response.

The name game . . .

Just in case you are curious, the original name of V. Stiviano — the alleged mistress of beleaguered LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whose voice is on the infamous racist tape, is Maria Vanessa Perez.

Pix place . . .

Who knew? A photograph of former CBS/”60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan — who was placed on a forced leave of absence due to a botched case of reporting on the Benghazi conflagration that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens — once occupied a favored place in the office of General David Petraeus, whose career got tubed after he admitted to an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

Be still my tongue.

Obama drama . . .

Hoop du jour: Unfortunately, Craig Robinson, the brother of first lady Michelle Obama, was reportedly fired from his job as Oregon State University head basketball coach for not doing his job. (In six seasons, his team lost more than half their games, with no NCAA tournament appearances.)

Be still my tongue.

More Orr . . .

Cook County Clerk David Orr is working on proposing changes to modernize the way voters are registered in Illinois.

◆ Orr nugget No. 1: He wants to bury dead voters once and for all.

◆ Orr nugget No. 2: He wants pre-registration of high school students at 16 years of age.

“He is proposing a clean out of ‘dead voters’ by sharing voting data with other states through the Electronic Registration Information Center,” said an Orr source. He “hopes to create a more inclusive voter list by pre-registering high school students when they turn 16 at the same time they are applying for their driver’s license,” the source added.

Dan the man . . .

Gaff & laff: State treasurer and unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial primary candidate Dan Rutherford, whose campaign tanked shortly after he was accused of sexual harassment by a former male employee, has moved on.

“He was spotted having a grand old time Saturday, hanging out in the legislators’ suite at Arlington Park’s opening day,” said a Sneed spotter.

I spy . . .

Blackhawks Bryan Bickell, Core y Crawford and Nick Leddy all dined at Chicago Cut with their families and friends after their playoff win Sunday, and were treated to a standing ovation when they entered the eatery . . . and Kevin “House of Cards” Spacey stopped by Siena Tavern Saturday.

Sneedlings . . .

Tuesday’s birthdays: George Clooney, 53; Bob Seger, 69, and Willie Mays, 83.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.